Stony Stratford skipper Alex Strong says his men must win at Brixworth on Saturday if their hopes of finishing in the top six are to become a reality.
Strong stood firm for the last 10 overs to lead his team to a morale-boosting home draw with Premier Division leaders Finedon Dolben at Campbell Park on Saturday – stretching their unbeaten run to three matches.
Although three games may not sound much, that spell of good form is very impressive given the quality opposition Stony have faced.
Saturday’s draw with top of the table Finedon came seven days after their victory away at Old Northamptonians, and a week prior to that they held third placed Peterborough Town to a draw.
And after their draw with Finedon – when Stony held on at 147-7 after the visitors had declared on 235-5 – confidence is sky high. But their success against the top teams will be for nothing if they can’t pick up points against those sides around them in the table.
Strong said: “We’ve taken 36 points from and not been beaten in our last three games against Peterborough, ONs and now Finedon, which not many sides will do this year.
“It was a big relief to hold on and get the draw. It gives us a good platform to express ourselves.
“Not only do we know that we can hold our own against the best teams, but the other sides all know it too.”
Strong says Saturday’s trip to Brixworth, and then their home clash with Rushton a week later, are both must win games for Stony – even though both sides are above them in the table.
“If we want to make the top five or six then we have got to beat the sides around us,” he said.
“With our attack, I believe we can bowl any team in the league out, and we’re starting to look better with the bat too.
“Tom Moore did a fantastic job for 37 overs and Nick Allen made a really good 35 not out against Finedon, so things are getting better.
“I said to the team after the game that the pressure is now on us to win some games. The pressure has been off against the top teams, but we need to go out and win now.”
Strong stayed cool in the line of fire as Finedon closed in on victory, scoring just eight runs off 10 overs to frustrate the league’s most feared side.
“It was like the match with Peterborough recently – they were closing in, and really in our faces,” he said. “I admit I was a bit nervous.
“But I had faith in Nick at the other end and we batted through it. We weren’t trying to score singles, we were just holding on in there, which we did.”